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tv   Newsline 30min  KCSMMHZ  April 3, 2013 6:00am-6:30am PDT

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a chance for change. malaysia's prime minister prepares to call a general election as his coalition faces a challenge to its more than 50-year rule. welcome to nhk world "newsline." malaysians are getting ready for a vote that could shake up politics as they've known it for decades. prime minister najib razak has dissolved parliament and will soon call an election. his long-ruling coalition will be in for a fight. patchari raksawong in bangkok has more on this story.
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patchari, good evening. >> good evening, gene. the prime minister is now going over the calendar, and deciding on an election date, whenever malaysians go to the polls, analysts expect najib's coalition will have to battle for an increasingly popular opposition. >> translator: this morning, i asked the king's consent to dissolve the 12th parliament as of april 3rd. his majesty gave his approval. >> reporter: najib razak showed a stern expression during his televised address. political analysts say opposition parties will be tough competition in the general election to be held as early as this month. since winning independence from the british empire in 1957, malaysian politics has been dominated by the national front coalition that mainly represents the majority malay people.
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during the prime minister's term that began in 1981, malaysia began implementing policies that favor malays. the reforms worked to narrow the financial gap between malays and the more prosperous chinese minorities. but, frustration has built up over the years. in the 2008 elections, the ruling coalition lost nearly 30% of the parliamentary seats. as a result, it failed to meet the 2,000 majority required to make constitutional amendments. the urban chinese population resents the preferential treatment given to malays in education and employment. recent opinion polls show that usually high approval rate for the coalition has been slipping under prime minister najib. the opposition camp is now led by anwar ibrahim who served as
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deputy prime minister. opposition parties are aggressively campaigning in their bid to wrest the power from the ruling coalition. >> they would say enough of corruption, enough of racism, enough of abuse of power, and i believe generally malaysians are prepared for change. >> reporter: najib will need to win new seats in parliament for his party in order to regain two thirds majority. failure to do so may mean losing leadership of the coalition. the upcoming election will be the closest since malaysia's independence, and will decide the balance of power in the country. malaysia is the third largest economy in asean and the outcome will have international
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repercussions. nhk world, kuala lumpur. singapore is the current port of call for an american nuclear powered aircraft carrier. the choice of location is likely a bid by the u.s. to enhance its influence in the asia pacific region, where the chinese military is building up its presence. nhk world's mark ho has more. >> reporter: the u.s. government invited the media and local citizens aboard "uss john c. stennis" on wednesday. the aircraft carrier has been docked at singapore since monday. the ship is on its way back to the west coast of the u.s. following a five-month mission in the middle east. the attendees were allowed onto the deck of the 330-meter-long ship. there, they were believed on the
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deployment of f-18 fighter jets, and helicopters which have sonar to detect underwater crafts. navy officials say the carrier will conduct landing practice of aircraft, and they will maintain contacts with military officials in asia pacific region. >> it is a great pleasure -- >> reporter: u.s. president barack obama met with the singaporean prime minister in washington on tuesday. singapore has agreed to a u.s. plan to deploy cutting-edge combat ships to the country on a rotational basis, beginning as early as this month. obama expressed his appreciation to the country for allowing the u.s. to use military related facilities. >> i'm very thankful for singapore and its partnership. i'm thankful to prime minister lee for his outstanding work. >> singapore is very happy that the u.s. and the obama
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administration has been putting greater emphasis on its relations with asia. >> reporter: thailand and the philippines are asean members and old u.s. allies. by enhancing ties to singapore, in addition to these nations, the u.s. government is demonstrating its new defensive strategy. rebalancing to asia. mark ho, nhk world, singapore. a human rights group has been looking at satellite photos of the city of matila in myanmar and they are alarmed by what they see. sectarian violence between buddhists and muslims erupted in the city two weeks ago, before and after images show the extent of damage. an estimated 828 buildings have been completely destroyed, and 35 others were partially damaged, according to human rights watch, which published an analysis of the images. the group believes the majority of the structures were homes, and a total area of more than 24
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hectares was affected. buddhist-led violence has killed at least 43 people in the city located in the center of the country. tensions between buddhists and muslims have prompted the government to declare a state of emergency. the conflict has displaced thousands of people from their homes. the new york-based group is calling on myanmar's government to investigate, and find those responsible for the destruction. the latest outbreak is raising concerns that sectarian violence is not limited to rakhind state where similar incidents took place last year. the international community is keeping a close eye on how thein sein's government channels the violence. the unrest could pose a threat to the country's democratic reforms and burgeoning economy. and that will wrap up our bulletin. i'm patchari raksawong reporting from bangkok. sign tirss in the u.s. are working on a defense against a
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bird flu strain that's made the jump to humans. they've started to develop a vaccine for the h7n9 virus. it's infected at least nine people in china, three have died. all originated in eastern china. two men from shanghai and one from neighboring zhejiang died after developing fever and pneumonia earlier in the month. five others are also infected. health authorities have not found any evidence to link the four patients and no further cases have been reported among those in close contact with them. researchers at the u.s. centers for december control and prevex started work on a vaccine by analyzing genes of the h7n9 virus. they're trying to figure out how
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contagious it is, but they said the situation is still evolving. merchants saw chicken and duck meat drop in sales. >> our sales are less than half the usual level. >> translator: i'm worried because we don't know the -- i'm avoiding eating chicken. >> translator: i make my children wash hands carefully and i check the news ef day. >> shank high city officials are trying to stop the virus from spreading further. they've set up an emergency task force to strengthen monitoring activities. bank of japan policymakers started their first meeting under the new governor. they're trying to work out a mechanism for achieving a 2% inflation target. they want to achieve the price
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target in about two years after shin doe abe called for an end to the long inflation. the policymakers are discussing further mon take easing measures for buying government bonds. the government currently buys state bond that mature in three years or less. policymakers will also consider buying more risky assets such as exchange traded funds. that includes stocks as well. the policy board members are expected to discuss greater transparency on their bond buying programs for the benefit of market participants. that's by integrating two separate programs into one. they will also likely review their self-imposed rule for preventing the bank from shouldering government debts. there will be a news conference after the meeting concludes on thursday. u.s. energy giant exxon-mobil plans to build the world's largest floating lick wade natural gas processing plant with a mine companying bhp
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bill continue. the two firms plan to drill natural gas 220 kilometers off the northwestern shore of australia some time after 2020. the floating plant will be 500 meters long and 75 meters wide. it will be equipped with a facility to liquefy natural gas pumped out of sea bed. similar offshore drilling projects are planned around the globe. these are track the booming shale good production in the united states. here are the latest market figures.
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a japanese government minister is taking on an issue involving the u.s. military base that has remained unresolved for years. chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga is trying to get leaders in okinawa to approve a plan to relocate the futenma air station. suga met with the prefecture's governor. the central government applied last month for permission to reclaim a sparsely populated coastal district known as honoko in okinawa. that's where it wants to move the base. >> translator: the air station should not be allowed to stay where it is now. i want to proceed with building the replacement facility in hanoko in line with the japan/u.s. agreement. i will do my best to seek the understanding of the okinawa people. >> translator: i request that
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the futenma air station be moved out of okinawa prefecture because it would take too long to build a replacement facility in the hanoko district of nago. i will assess the government's replacement application based on relevant law. >> right now, the futenma air station is located in a densely populated area in okinawa. u.s. and japanese leaders agreed in 2006 agreed to move the base. their plan includes the construction of runways that would extend out over the sea. opponents have protested over the possible impact on the coastal environment and many want the base to be moved out of okinawa entirely. the operators of japan's oldest nuclear reactors will soon have to satisfy a tougher set of rules if they're to keep their aging plant running.
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following the meltdown at fukushima daiichi, diet members passed a law last june saying reactors must be decommissioned after 40 years. but the law also said the plants could keep going for an additional 20 years if the operators got permission. three of japan's 50 nuclear reactors are at least 30 years old. two are at kansei electric power's meihama and one is at 0 old. two are at kansei electric power's meihama and one is a40 old. two are at kansei electric power's meihama and one is at power's meihama and one is at japan's atomic power company's suduku plant. the three are all offline. but the older plants now face stricter inspections. officials with the nuclear regulation authority say operators who want to run their facilities beyond 40 years must conduct ultrasonic checks of their reactor's entire structures. they also have to closely analyze the strength of the concrete in their reactor containment vessels. a new set of requirements will also be introduced for all reactors by july. operators who can't meet them may be forced to decommission their plants. people in part of northeastern japan are having an
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easier time getting around. the 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed a train line that connected communities along the pacific coast. crews have spent two years rebuilding the railway. they just unveiled the latest section. nhk world was there. >> reporter: trains from across japan joined locals at a small station. more than 200 people attended a ceremony to mark the restoration of service on part of the sanriku railway. few seemed happier. things are back on track. the driver -- >> translator: i'm so glad. i'll drive safely. >> reporter: for years, the sanriku railway has traveled from town to town, providing scenic views of the sea and jagged coastline.
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it's how many people in this area get around, especially students and seniors. >> translator: i had to walk a lot visiting my hometown by bus but now i can go there often. >> translator: it's great to see the train running. i feel we're recovering. >> reporter: the 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed much of the facilities on the 107 kilometer line. trains, stations and bridges. crews have been working to rebuild section by section. most of the north line has been back in operation. but the south line remained out of service. now 60% of it is running again. the operator wanted to restart before schools begin next week. the repair bill is expected to
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total more than $100 million. a fifth of that money is coming from kuwait. the middle eastern country gave japan $500 million worth of oil two years ago to help it recover from the disaster. the kuwaiti ambassador went to ofunato to help celebrate the reopening of this part of the sanriku line. >> we hope that relaunching this line will reconnect towns and cities and those would carry a message of hope to every resident. we are full of hope that complete recovery is near. >> reporter: about 80% of the entire railway is now running again. disaster survivors see it as another sign that life in this region is returning to normal. the operator expects to resume full service by next april.
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nhk world, japan. thousands of people waiting to go home. tons of debris waiting for disposal. vast tracts of land waiting to be restored. overcoming the challenges of japan's 2011 disaster won't be easy, but step by step, people are moving forward. find out how on "the road ahead" every wednesday at 1:00 p.m. japan time right here on "newsline." the united nations general assembly has approved the first international treaty on conventional arms. 154 delegates voted in favor, including the u.s., the world's biggest exporters of arms. representatives of three countries voted against those from north korea, syria an iran.
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delegates from russia and china were among the 23 who abstained. the treaty controls the trade of tanks, missiles, guns and other conventional weapons. it bans transfers of weapons if they violate arms embargoes or if they promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. it requires member states to present records of their arms trading to the united nations annually. >> translator: what's significant here is that they recognize the need to be transparent and accountable in regulating the international trade of conventional arms. those represents are related to a lot of crimes in many countries. >> it's estimated that conventional weapons kill half a million civilians every year. an expert on arms control and disarmament says this treaty is an historical achievement.
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>> reporter: he is a professor at former revent fellow at the national institute for defense studies. sato says the approval is a positive investment. >> sato has high hopes for the treaty's effectiveness and says it will enhance the transparency of the weapons trade. >> for the future development of the treaty, i think information sharing and record keeping will hold the key for the success of this treaty itself, because those treaty asks each countries to keep the record of the weapons, types and volumes for ten years minimum, and those -- information accumulated will contribute to the transparency of the arms transfer itself, and that will greatly contribute to
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the peace and security of the international community obviously. >> however, sato emphasizes we need to keep an eye on how the u.s. will proceed. the u.s. is the world's largest arms exporter. >> the benchmark is the ratification of the treaty by the u.s. united states. as you know, if it is not ratified by the united states and other international agreements, and the international treaty is waiting for ratification. and we have to see the timetables within the u.s. senate, when and how the ratification process will go on. >> although the decision was not unanimous, sato says the approval at the u.n. itself should have a strong impact on the international trade of conventional weapons. the treaty will come into effect once it is ratified by 50 countries in the u.n. the effectiveness of the treaty will depend on whether the major
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sellers and buyers of weapons will respect the new treaty. nhk world, tokyo. skies have cleared up in tokyo but there's ongoing heavy rain in china. rachle ferguson has the forecast. rachel. >> hi there, gene. yes, it has cleared up here in tokyo. in fact the sunshine just before sunset was really beautiful, and it signals maybe what we're going to be getting tomorrow, which is lots of sunshine, and some warmer temperatures, as well. thursday and friday set to be really beautiful across most of the country. this high pressure is just on its way moving in, while the spring storm continues its way east. however, not all areas in the region are going to be having such luck. look down here to the southeast of china. more heavy rain on the cards here.
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you're not going to get a break until saturday. in that time quite a wide area could see up to 120 millimeters of rain. that's what our model is showing here but in places such as guangdong, it is possible you could see more likely around 250 millimeters of rain. bad news because these are places that have been hit hardest so already significant flooding has occurred. we will see a continued risk for further flooding as well as landslides and mudslides. temperature are looking like this -- hot and dry across indochina. bangkok at 39 degrees. forecast for your thursday, a couple of degrees hotter than it is this time. year, though this is the hot s time of year. 18 shanghai. 11 beijing. 19 in seoul. do enjoy that. it will fall down to 10 on sunday. heading into the americas, we'll be focusing on what's happening down here in the south. widespread r rn here, too. about 50 millimeters over pretty
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broad area but you could be seeing 130 in some places. certainly along the coast it is going to be pretty heavy and it will be accompanied by some strong thunderstorms. expect some large hail. there were actually solv lly softball-sized hail reported in texas in this system. tornadoes are not ruled out of the question, either. it is going to move slowly toward the eastern coast, taking its time about it, too. temperatures will be rebounding though in the south. certainly something to look forward to because it's been chilly here. 7 in oklahoma city. up to 14 on thursday. finally into the low 20s on your friday. 8 degrees in chicago. up towards the west, 17 in seattle is pretty comfortable. that's a nice spring-like temperature there. 24 in los angeles. good conditions there, too. on in to europe. how to we've been watching a couple of storms to the south. this one here has been bringing thunderstorms right through the
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southeast. it is going to be breaking off and heading up north. now you'll see about five to ten centimeters of snow in low pand and into the baltic states but ukraine, your snow will turn over to rain. our second system in the southwest moving through iberia will perhaps bring sleet in the early hours of the morning to france, but it is going to mostly be rain. this is really more like winter than spring -- i'll leave your extended forecast.
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janchts pan's most celebrated conductor is tuning up for a full comeback. he had surgery in 2010 for esophageal cancer. now he's getting ready to wave the baton on a more regular basis. >> translator: i lucky recovered from a bad condition. it is like a gift from god. i will get back on my feet. >> ozawa says he'll conduct more little by little. he says he never intends to reduce his efforts to teach young people. the 77-year-old maestro served as musical director of the boston symphony orchestra for nearly 30 years. he's also conducted the berlin and vienna philharmonics along with other leading orchestras. he is scheduled to make a full comeback in august. he'll conduct an opera at a festival in mats moto, japan. that's "newsline" for this hour. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us here at nhk
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world, thanks very much for joining us. have a great day wherever you are.
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